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World Glaucoma Day: What You Need to Know About This Disease

By: Sandra Ortiz

Today, in commemoration of World Glaucoma Day, we come together to raise awareness about this ocular disease. Discover the importance of regular ophthalmological exams and how to prevent blindness associated with glaucoma. Keep reading to learn more!

Today, March 12, we commemorate World Glaucoma Day, a date dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of undergoing regular ophthalmological exams to prevent blindness associated with this disease.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic nerve of the eye and is the leading cause of blindness. It usually occurs due to fluid buildup in the front part of the eye, which increases eye pressure and causes damage to the optic nerve.

In the United States, blindness is the third most feared health problem, after cancer and heart attacks, according to the World Glaucoma Association. It is estimated that by the year 2040, more than 100 million people worldwide will suffer from this disease.

It is worth noting that, according to a report from the Mayo Clinic, Hispanics have a higher risk of developing glaucoma, as do people over 55 years of age, those with high eye pressure, a family history of the disease, diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure, anemia, or nearsightedness.

How Does Glaucoma Develop?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology explains that there are two main types of glaucoma: chronic open-angle and closed-angle.

The first is the most common and develops gradually when the eye does not drain fluid properly. It is not painful and does not cause changes in vision initially, so it is important to have regular eye exams to detect it early. It is known as the “silent thief of vision” because most affected people do not notice changes in their vision until the damage is severe.

The second type occurs when the iris is too close to the drainage angle in the eye, which can cause sudden blockage and a rapid increase in eye pressure, leading to an acute attack that must be treated immediately to prevent blindness. Although most people do not have symptoms before an attack, some signs include blurred vision, light halos, mild headaches, or eye pain. It is recommended that people experiencing these symptoms be examined by an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

The Importance of Prevention

It is essential to raise awareness about this disease, as it is silent and does not present symptoms in its early stages. Therefore, it is imperative to undergo comprehensive ophthalmological exams periodically, including measuring eye pressure, reviewing the eye’s drainage angle, evaluating the optic nerve and peripheral vision, as well as measuring corneal thickness, as recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Now that you have this information, use it to your advantage and schedule regular ophthalmological check-ups to prevent this disease.

Remember that sight is an invaluable treasure that allows us to appreciate the beauty of the world around us.



About the author: Sandra Ortiz

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Sandra Ortiz Juárez studied Communication Sciences in her native Mexico and obtained a master's degree in Audiovisual Journalism in Spain. She has worked on radio, television and in digital media such as AOL Latino, Mamás Latinas and in the magazines Siempre Mujer and Ser Padres, where she served as digital director. She has interviewed celebrities such as Carolina Herrera, Isabel Toledo, Natalia Jiménez, Luis Fonsi, William Levy, among many other personalities. In her free time she likes to dance and experiment in the kitchen. She confesses to being addicted to the internet and sushi.

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